Can You Spray Paint Indoors? Facts and Guidelines


Last updated: August 31, 2023

Planning to spray paint indoors? Here are steps to follow and the best paints to use for a smooth finish.

Can you spray paint indoors without ending up with a nasty mess? Is it safe to spray paint furniture pieces and household artifacts without causing damage?

These are questions that linger in the mind of homeowners who want to revamp their household items indoors.

So we created this detailed guide to help you understand how to set up for spray painting indoors, the equipment you will need, and the best spray paint indoors.

Let’s get started!

Can You Spray Paint Indoors?

Absolutely, but you should do it in a room where you can open windows and doors to allow proper ventilation. You should also wear a mask for respiratory protection against strong fumes. Setting up extraction fans is also recommended to minimize aerosol emissions. Also, cover your furniture and other household items to protect against paint over spray.

Is it Safe to Spray Paint Indoors?

Well, spray painting can be dangerous if safety measures aren’t taken. Several factors contribute to the dangers of indoor spray painting. 

For example, improper application of the spray paint and failure to follow the safety guidelines from the manufacturer. Some oil-based paints are toxic and known to be hazardous and may cause health problems like skin irritation and respiratory challenges. 

The best way to ensure your indoor spray painting project will be safe is by wearing protective gear and providing proper ventilation. 

How To Spray Paint Indoors Safely

If you’ve done a little research on spray painting indoors, especially on some popular forums, you could have realized that the information provided can be contradictory and others very confusing. 

Some say there’s little to no risk of using spray paint indoors, while others outrightly point out the risks involved. To get you from this maze of confusion and make everything clear, consider these tips on how to spray paint indoors safely.

  1. Ventilation is everything when working with substances like spray paint. Your working space should have adequate airflow. This is not a problem when working outside, but if it’s indoors, keep the doors and windows open throughout the process. 

  2. Work with extraction fans to eliminate paint fumes. 

  3. Take care of your respiratory health, as the spray paint fumes cause lung problems. You should wear a good quality painting mask, especially one designed with filters, alongside chemical-protection gloves while handling spray paint. 

  4. Let everyone step out. Everyone here includes family members, kids, and pets. The spray paint fumes are generally toxic, and kids and pets can be especially vulnerable. Let them stay away from the room and, if possible, the apartment until the project is done and the fumes have dissipated.

  5. Protect your household belongings by covering them from over-spraying and stray saint particles. If possible, work with a  ventilated spray booth, as this helps reduce overspray. 

  6. Do not pray on heat-emitting areas such as power outlets or vulnerable wires. 

  7. Use water-based paints instead of solvent-based ones since they’re less toxic with fewer side effects in case of exposure.

  8. Use eco-friendly products that contain less volatile organic compounds or VOCs. 

Supplies For Spray Painting Indoors

Before you get to the actual work, you’ll need some supplies and materials. These requirements may vary depending on your expertise and overall painting needs. The most basic are listed below:

  • Paint bucket
  • Painters tape
  • Dust containment poles
  • Drop cloths
  • A good paint sprayer for indoor projects
  • Floor coverings

Steps for Spray painting Indoors 

With the tools and materials ready, here are the steps to safely spray indoors. 

Surface Preparation and Cleaning 

Adequate surface preparation is the best way to get the best results out of any project. That’s the first step we will cover. You must ensure the surface is clean and smooth before applying any paint. 

Here preparation entails scraping or sanding old paint, removing mildew and mold, then wiping or washing off the debris and residues. If you plan to paint indoor walls like a basement, you should check for surface damages and peelings which attract fungi infestation. 

Painting such surfaces wouldn’t help much unless you first cure the surface using a vacuum cleaner or other cleaning tools. 

Applying Primer

With the surface cleaned and cured, it’s time to apply a primer to smoothen up your surface and make it easy to adhere when you apply the paint. Some of the best primers include Rustoleum,  Krylon, and Zinnser. Let the primer dry thoroughly for a few hours before moving to the next step.

Paint Preparation

The next step after primer application is paint preparation. Here you want to determine which paint you’ll use, whether oil or water-based. Preparation entails making sure the paint isn’t too thick or too thin but even enough to create the perfect smooth finish. 

Apply The Paint Via Sprayer

Can you use spray paint indoors is one question we often receive, followed by how to use a paint sprayer indoors. While it’s possible that you can spray paint inside, using a sprayer isn’t something everyone is familiar with, and that’s perfectly fine. 

One of the easiest sprayers to use and which I use often is the Wagner 590 sprayer. It’s the ideal sprayer for indoor projects. When using it, you want to test the paint’s consistency before applying it directly indoors. 

Start by applying thin layers in a thin corner to vanish all the impurities and uneven marks. Maintain the appropriate distance between the sprayer’s nozzle and the target wall or surface, and let the first coat dry completely. 

Apply the second coat at the time specified on the can, then apply the second coat. While at it, maintain a balanced speed, and don’t be too fast or too slow in your application until you achieve the perfect finish. 

Seal The Spray Paint indoors (Optional)

While this step is entirely optional, it’s a good idea if you want to add an extra layer of protection to the paint. Sealing makes the paint stick longer and helps protect it from damage. 

The main objective of adding a sealant is to protect your painted surface from premature rubbing off, peeling, flaking, or fading.  

With that taken care of, close off the painted room for about 10 hours until the fumes wear off before using it. 

If you want to renovate your bedroom or kitchen interior walls, spray painting is a cheaper and faster way to go about it. It’s also the easiest and less time-consuming renovative method available. 

Can You Spray Paint Indoors?

How Do You Spray Paint Indoors Without Making a Mess?

While spray painting is fast, easy, and efficient, mistakes happen, and it’s so easy to create a mess from a simple project. And if you work with a fan, having paint particles all over the place is inevitable unless you cover the room from accidental sprays. 

But covering all the household items can be time-consuming, and you should consider something more convenient. In this case, we suggest a spray booth

The booth acts as a mini bunker where you can spray the target surface without messing up other nearby items. 

Spray booths are available in different options, some costly while some are relatively cheap. The priced ones are made with built-in high-quality ventilation and LED lights, making them ideal for small-scale painting. 

Can I Spray Paint Indoors Without A Mask?

Any professional spray painter will mention safety as the core of any spray painting job. Dealing with spray paint is risky because these products are made of highly volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which release toxic fumes. 

If inhaled, such fumes can cause adverse health implications, which is why wearing a mask and gloves is entirely necessary.  We highly recommend wearing a good-quality face mask with filters. 

Can I Use Rustoleum Spray Paint Inside?

Yes. Rust-Oleum paint brand has a variety of spray paints with varying toxicity levels. Some Rust-Oleum spray paints are formulated specifically for indoor use since they contain low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making them generally eco-friendly and can be used inside and outside the house. 

The Rust-Oleum spray paints are also durable and made to withstand chipping, fading, and abrasion. They’re also easy to apply and suitable for any surface, be it wood, metal, plastic, or PVC.

Best Paints For Spray Painting Indoors

After using and testing various spray paints  from multiple brands, here are our best picks for the best spray paints you can safely use for your indoor painting projects: 

1. Pinty Plus Evolution

Pinty Plus Evolution is your best pick if you want a multipurpose product that offers multiple applications. It’s a solvent-based spray paint that offers quick solutions where quick paint manipulation is needed. 

It’s also great for indoor and outdoor projects; you can apply it on concrete, wood, plastic, metal, cardboard, and stone. Pinty Plus Evolution sprays paint is versatile, meaning it can be used on any industrial equipment,  engineering pieces, or decorative household items.

2. Montana Colors Water-Based Spray Paint

As the name suggests, MTN Water Based 300 is a versatile low, odor water-based paint spray that comes in a handy 300 ml format. It’s one of the best products to use on studio or indoor projects and can be applied using various techniques. 

It offers excellent properties that support desirable finishes, comprehensive coverage, and quick dry time. As a low solvent product, it has minimal scent intensity, which reduces its impact on enclosed spaces with limited ventilation. 

Its flexibility means you can erase it with water or reapply it using other methods like a wet paintbrush, especially before it’s fully dry.

3. Evolve Agua Water-Based Spray Paint

Evolve Agua Water-based spray is an easy-to-use, eco-friendly formula that’s a favorite with professional artists and DIYers. 

You can apply it anywhere on crafts, murals, sculptures, studios, indoor projects, and canvas work. It comes in low-pressure cans and multiple vibrant colors. 

4. Rust-Oleum Spray Paints (Low-Odor Options)

The Rust-Oleum low-odor spray paint includes Metallic, Chalked, Metal Protection, and Ultra Cover. They can be applied on any indoor setting, be it a studio or apartment, and on nearly every substrate, from unglazed ceramic to plaster to ceramic. 

The Rust-Oleum spray paint low odor options are available in different unique colors, including gold, silver, brass, and copper.

What Should I Do If Painting Outside is Not An Option?

You may not have a suitable space for indoor spray painting. Maybe you can’t get your family out, your home has limited space, or there are other unavoidable reasons why you can’t paint inside your home or basement. 

This is understandable, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done. If it’s impossible to spray paint indoors, consider doing it outside in the garage or the yard if the weather allows. 

This method is recommended for movable items like furniture and other small household items. 

Otherwise, having a professional spray painter might be better if you need to paint your interior walls, and it proves impossible. 

Such people have the experience and expertise to work within limited spaces and unfavorable conditions. 

A professional will know how to arrange and cover the room to make the project less messy. They also know which spray paint options are best for enclosed spaces in terms of efficiency and toxicity. 

They may also share tips on overcoming common spray painting problems you may encounter in your future DIY undertakings. 

So depending on the circumstances that make indoor spray painting impossible, a professional is better placed to offer the necessary guidance and solutions to your unique problem. We recommend that you work with one. 

FAQs – Can You Spray Paint Inside?

Do you need a mask to spray paint inside?

Yes. Masking up is essential and highly recommended for safety reasons. The fumes from the spray paint can cause skin irritation, breathing problems, and health complications, so you need to wear a mask when handling paint. 

Is it safe to use spray paint indoors?

Yes. You can use spray indoors, provided you follow the safety guidelines for indoor painting. Ventilation, low VOC paints, and wearing safety gear are the key steps to spray paint in enclosed spaces safely.

Can spray paint fumes be harmful?

Yes, spray paint fumes, especially from toxic paint options, can cause short and long-term health problems. If you inhale these poisonous fumes, you may develop breathing problems, nausea, headaches, throat irritation, and eye stress, among other health problems. You should wear a mask and gloves when working with spray paint. 

How do you ventilate a room for spray painting?

You can ensure the doors and windows are open during and after the project.  It would be best if you also run exhaust fans to get rid of the fumes in the room as you paint. 

Is Rust-Oleum spray paint safe indoors?

Rust-Oleum is one of the best spray paint solutions for indoor painting. The brand leads in the production of eco-friendly products with low VOCs. You ca,n use Rust-Oleum on any surface, including cement and metal, not just on walls.

How to spray paint indoors without overspray?

Overspraying can result in poor-quality finishes and uneven marks on the walls. To ensure you don’t overspray, always stand at a recommended distance from the surface and press the trigger as gently as possible.

Final Thoughts On How to Spray paint Indoors

To summarize, spray painting indoors is more straightforward and smoother than people think. This guide tells us that the process becomes relatively easy and safe, especially if you follow the necessary preparation and safety guidelines. 

You wouldn’t have to worry about changing weather conditions if you could implement the steps and tips covered in this piece. You can bring projects to your basement and complete your projects on schedule without weather or environmental issues affecting the quality of your work. 

All it takes is extra time, patience, the right tools, and professional tips to get started. We hope this article answers your question about spray painting indoors.

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